Region | Palestinian Territories

Colonists deface Christian monastery near Occupied Jerusalem

The name of the unauthorised Migron settlement, which was cleared following a court order, was scrawled on the well known Latrun Monastery

  • Reuters
  • Published: 15:39 September 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

A priest stands near a burnt door of a monastery
  • Image Credit: AFP
  • A priest stands near a burnt door as he takes a picture of a graffiti reading in Hebrew, "mutual guarantee, Ramat Migron and Maoz Ester" (West Bank settlements), which was sprayed on the wall of the Christian Catholic Latrun monastery between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on September 4, 2012, after unknown people set the monastery’s door ablaze and vandalized its wall.

Occupied Jerusalem: Vandals set fire to the doors of a Christian monastery near Occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday and daubed pro-colonist graffiti on its walls in a possible retaliation for the eviction of families from an unauthorised outpost.

The name of the unauthorised Migron settlement, which was cleared following a court order on Sunday, was scrawled on the well known Latrun Monastery, police said

Israeli security officials had said they were worried the eviction of 50 families from Migron, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, might provoke retaliation from a vigilante colonist group known as “Price Tag”.

The “Price Tag” name refers to retribution some Israeli colonists say they will exact for any attempt by their government to curb settlement in the occupied West Bank, an area Palestinians seek as part of a future state.

The colonist group has targeted mosques and, less commonly, Christian churches in the past, seeing any non-Jewish religious sites as an intrusion. An Israeli rabbi visiting the site called the attack an “ugly event”.

“As a rabbi and as an Israeli citizen I am ashamed today and I am deeply troubled by the fact that this is not the first time that such an event takes place in Israel, “ Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of Reform Judaism in Israel, told Reuters Television.

“We need to make sure that the other faiths, other communities feel secure here,” Kariv added.

The Latrun Monastery is located on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed - a step that has never been recognised internationally.

Police said they had launched an investigation into the attack.

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